Things I Learned From Our Rainy Wedding Day

Posted in Adventures, Reflections
on June 2, 2017

How is it possible that it’s already been a year since we stood in the rain in front of our friends and family and said our vows? Our wedding day was, in a lot of ways, not at all like I imagined it. But somehow it ended up perfect all the same. 


On June 3rd, 2016, I woke up to an absolutely perfect morning. I went for a 6am drive to go find some lilacs, and take a few minutes to myself before the day got started. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and I thought maybe the forecast for a 90% chance of rain was wrong. 


A few hours later, we were getting ready, sipping mimosas and listening to music when we heard the unmistakable sound of a torrential downpour outside – and it didn’t really stop from then on. Having a rainy outdoor wedding isn’t what I would have chosen for myself. Of course, no one, when planning an outdoor wedding, expects or wants the weather to be crappy.


In my new part-time job as a wedding coordinator at the venue where we got married (more on that soon), I’ve worked at weddings where the weather is absolutely perfect, and weddings where the bride is nearing a panic attack due to the unexpected rain or cold. But having our wedding on an incredibly rainy day taught me a lot of things, so I thought I’d share them with you!


1. You can’t control the weather, but you can prepare for it

Obvious, I know. And yet, while planning our wedding, I honestly gave very little thought to weather concerns until just a couple weeks before the wedding. Every bride assumes their wedding day will be perfect, because that’s what you want, and you spend so much time planning every detail. But in reality, the weather is going to do whatever it wants to do, so making a plan is key. About  two weeks before the wedding, I started looking into options for if – God forbid – it rained at our wedding. I bought some cute rain boots, checked in with our photographer and venue coordinator, discussed the option of getting a tent set up over our reception patio, etc. Even though I was still hoping for sun, I prepared in every way I could think of so that the idea of a rainy wedding day wouldn’t be such an unknown. Now I’m glad I did, because it made the day much easier!

2. You can do whatever you want on your wedding day

I realize that this maybe sounds selfish, but it’s also true: your wedding is about you and the person you’re spending your life with, so you are the only two people who get to decide how your wedding day goes. At our venue at the time we got married, the back-up plan was to have the ceremony under a clear tent on the patio. But the whole day, I insisted that we do the ceremony at our original location, in the field ceremony space, because that had been my dream since we booked the venue, and I wasn’t ready to give that up. 


I had concerns about this plan. To have our ceremony in the rain meant that all of our guests would have to stand (no one would want to sit on wet benches) and we wouldn’t be able to use the sound equipment, which was a major bummer. I felt like I was inconveniencing our guests and being selfish, until my wonderful then-fiance, family and friends reminded me that it was our day. The decision was made, we let our guests know what was going on, and we had a rainy outdoor ceremony. And I’m so, so glad we did. Our guests still tell us that it was such a memorable and fun day. 

Even my 96-year-old grandpa was willing to stand in the rain for us!


3. Rain makes colors pop – and rainy day photos are amazing

This is what our photographer, Becca at Just Be. Photographs, told me when I reached out to her in a panic about having a rainy wedding day. And she was absolutely right. If anything, the rain made the pictures more fun because we were able to be creative with rain boots, an umbrella and some different locations, and no one was squinting or sweating in the sun. Becca did an amazing job with our wedding photos, and I don’t think having a rainy wedding affected that at all – if anything, the rain made them better! 


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4. Rainy day accessories are fun

This goes along with the last point, but finding bright rain boots and cute umbrellas for our wedding day was so much fun, and helped to make the day less dreary. I wore purple rain boots for the whole wedding until the dance, and they were comfortable, dry, and also cute for pictures! 



5. The weather doesn’t matter

We didn’t get our sunset pictures, our guests couldn’t fully hear the ceremony, we weren’t really able to play lawn games or have a bonfire, and a few people weren’t able to make it to the wedding because of the muddy roads. This was all disappointing, and I’d be lying if I said there’s not part of me that wishes we’d had perfect weather. 


But at the end of the day, our wedding was about the two of us, standing (in the rain) in front of all of our closest family and friends, declaring our love to one another. It was joyful, it was fun, it was memorable, and it was everything we hoped it would be. 


To this day, the sound of rain brings back happy memories for me, and I smile every time I think about throwing our umbrella down for our first kiss as husband and wife, or when Cyder (my dog of honor) laid down in the mud and rain during our ceremony. 


Your wedding day is one of the biggest, happiest days of your life, and rain or cold or clouds can’t change that. It’s still the most special of days, and I look back with so many lovely memories. 


We’re going to be starting a new tradition tomorrow for our anniversary that I can’t wait to share with you next week, but for now I want to hear from you! Have you attended a rainy wedding? What was the weather like for your wedding? Did you have an outdoor ceremony? I’d love to hear from you! 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mom

    Hi Emma. You asked for wedding day stories, so in case you haven’t heard the details of your mom and dad’s wedding, here are a few snippets …..

    We were married in late September, which is an iffy month for knowing what the weather might do. But like you, we hoped for a somewhat warm and dry day. We lucked out for our afternoon wedding, with a sunny, 70-degree, blue-sky day, accentuated by the yellow, orange and red leaves on the neighborhood trees and dancing in the slight breeze.

    It was a humble and inexpensive ceremony in our home church, with simple homemade food for the reception, and no wedding dance… ( although your aunt Sharon did plot to bring a boombox into the church basement to play polka music to dance to ) … I still wish we would have done that — I regret that by trying to be proper and worry about what others would think, I missed out on what I believe would have been a fun memory. The only pre-ceremony snafu I can think of is that the crinoline under my dress was too pouffy and it raised the length of my dress. My good friend and personal attendant, Suzy, fixed the problem with no fuss usung some safety pins and ribbon, as she comically declared: “this is no problem! I have to do this every day with my hair!” (She had lovely natural curls ). πŸ˜‰ Even so, with my dress being now a bit higher, I simply took off my shoes and got married in my stocking feet!

    Between the ceremony and the reception our wedding attendants initiated the old tradition of stealing the bride and groom in separate cars. I think your dad just got driven around town by the bridesmaids, all the while wearing a blindfold, and yelling for “help” out the open window. 😜 I had the honor of being transported by the guys in the back of a pick-up truck, where we headed to the 7-11 store and bought Popsicles. When your dad and I met up again outside the church after our separate adventures, with my last piece of popsicle melting in my hand, I held it up, and your dad ate the last bite – I literally had him eating out of my hand that day! πŸ˜‰ I didn’t even mind that I had dripped orange popsicle on my dress, for any marks or stains you get on your wedding day to that “perfect” dress, only help to tell the story of your one-of-a-kind day, right?

    After the reception, the wedding party and family members drove to Uncle Rick and Aunt Bonnie’s house in Mahtomedi, to open gifts, and take pictures on their lawn by the golden trees at sunset.

    At the end of it all, no matter what plans you made or details did or did not work out, what’s important are the vows you make to each other before God and with Him and your friends and family blessing you both.

    Emma, on this, your “First Anniversary Eve,” I want to bless you both with my best wishes and prayers for a long life together full of love, joy, adventure and perseverance for the hard times that will come … But I pray they will be a few.

    You are my beautiful daughter; you were a BEAUTUFUL (and determined) bride; 😘 and I’m so thankful we could all share such a wonderful day with you and Steve – rain or shine!

    Much love,

    June 2, 2017 at 8:28 pm
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